Pro-Choice Women’s March Events for October 2

Women’s March Alameda
Washington Park740 Central Ave., Alameda, CA
Saturday, October 2, 10:00 AM


March for FREEDOM
Martinez Courthouse Steps
725 Court St, MARTINEZ, CA
Saturday, October 2, 11:00


Support women’s rights to healthcare and choice
El Cerrito Plaza
2000-8000 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA
Saturday, October 2, 11:00 AM


March For Our Rights
Civic Center Area (Grove St)
322 25th Ave, Apt 5, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, October 2, 11:00 AM


Orinda Women’s March
Downtown Orinda Theatre
2 theatre square, Orinda, CA
Saturday, October 2, 2:00 PM


Danville Women’s March
Danville Green
400 front street, Danville, CA
Saturday, October 2, 2:00 PM

Marching for Reproductive Rights

NOW is joining with 90 other organizations to March for Reproductive Rights on October 2.  Check this website for updates as to time and place. Until then support the rally in Austin, TX on September 18 by posting on social media with the #StopTXSB8NOW







Contra Costa County NOW Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Contra Costa NOW Offers Two University Scholarships For Accomplished Young Women Of Color

The Contra Costa Chapter of NOW is pleased to announce the winners of their first university scholarships. The scholarships, in the amounts of $1000 and $500, were earmarked for two young women of color based on their academic and social-activism accomplishments.

Initially, the chapter was able to offer only one $1000 scholarship when it was first announced on our website. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous NOW member who provided the second $500 scholarship, NOW was able to offer two scholarships instead of one.

Thyra Anastasia Cobbs will be attending UCLA beginning in Fall 2021, studying the intersection of mental health and African-Americans. Sia´h Fanta Jimissa, who will be attending UC Berkeley next fall, will be pre-med, and aspires to be a physician working in developing countries. Please see their brief bios below.

According to CC NOW´s president, Jeanette Cole, “We are delighted at the outcome of our chapter´s first endowment of scholarships for university study, which the board of directors specifically earmarked for young women of color who not only had achieved impressive academic honors, but also demonstrated a strong embrace of social activism for the  betterment of their communities. NOW has a long history of supporting young women and marginalized women, and this initial effort to provide financial support to young women’s education is the logical next step for our chapter.”

The Chapter´s Scholarship Committee received several excellent applications, and hopes to continue the scholarship initiative into the future.



Thyra Cobbs´ childhood was marked by horrendous personal trauma, which could have resulted in her life having taken a very different direction.

Things began to turn around when she enrolled in Los Medanos College (LMC), participating in a summer bridge program to help her navigate college as a first-generation student, and becoming a student ambassador. Enrolling in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) offered Thyra opportunities to build meaningful relationships with other low-income, first-generation students, and eventually become a peer mentor, allowing her the chance to enhance the experiences of African-American students at LMC. After being accepted into the LMC Honors Program, she was selected to present her research on best practices to better understanding of how extracurricular activities impact the academic success of African- American students, at the selective Bay Area Honors Symposium at Stanford University.

Thyra started a Black book club, and was also elected president of LMC Associated Students, actively working with administrators, faculty, and staff to help support the African-American student community. She currently works with the VP of Student Services at LMC and a Stanford psychologist to investigate how culturally empowering courses can impact the mental health and academic success of Black college students and to improve their persistence rates.

Thyra´s current studies include psychology at LMC/Foothill College, and African-American studies at Contra Costa College and De Anza College, and she will be transferring to UCLA in Fall 2021 to double major in Psychology and African-American studies. Her interests include the psychological effects of colonialism on Africa and the psychological slavery experienced by African-Americans. According to Thyra, her ultimate academic goal is to pursue a Ph.d in psychology so that “I may conduct psychological research on African-American communities. It is my passion to develop a psychological theory that can explain and describe the current status of Africa and its diaspora.¨



Sia´h Fanta Jimissa will attend UC Berkeley beginning in the Fall 2021 semester, after taking classes as part of their Early Academic Outreach Program.

As the captain of her high school’s girls´ basketball team, Sia´h helped rebuild the team by fostering stronger team chemistry through bonding and motivational activities. While working as an intern for UC Berkeley’s Black Retainment and Recruitment Center, she served as a strong role model for other Black high school students, providing one-on-one mentorship and college essay support. Sia´h also plans to continue working with high school students and becoming more involved with the Black community at UC Berkeley in the hopes of creating a better experience for Black students.

Sia´h plans to major in Integrative Biology and Public Health on the pre-med track, with the goal of becoming a physician. She wishes to work at the intersection of medicine and government to promote health equity in developing nations. This goal is a direct result of her family’s experience with an inadequate healthcare system in her native country of Sierra Leone.

According to Sia´h, “The relationship between the Black community and healthcare professionals . . . cannot be fully understood without examining the historic maltreatment suffered by Black people from powerful institutions including the US government. . . . I need to be knowledgeable about my community’s history … and comfortable using an interdisciplinary approach to medicine so that I can help solve persistent problems.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

We are at a transformational shift to a new era of gender equality in the United States, with feminist women holding some of the most consequential levers of power. 

Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, is the first woman vice president; for the first time in U.S. history, President Joe Biden has appointed equal numbers of women (now at 48%) to the Cabinet; and the House of Representatives is led by a feminist woman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and feminists chair some of the most powerful committees including Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee. 

There’s no denying that 2021 is going to be an exciting, impactful and critically important year in the long struggle for gender equality.

We Are Heartbroken

NOW Mourns the Loss of Feminist Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There aren’t sufficient words to describe the depth of sorrow women are feeling at the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are shattered.  We are broken.  We feel that we have lost more than a dear and admired friend. Our country has lost a feminist champion 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not only a historic Supreme Court Justice, but also a political and cultural icon for the ages, and a feminist legend. She fought for and protected women’s rights every single day.  

NOW recognizes all that she contributed to women and girls, to America, to our world, in terms of equality and possibilitiesNOW’s work is an extension of amazing leaders, amazing women, amazing sheroes, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That she did her work in the face of sexism throughout her life, and while battling cancer in the last chapters of her life, speaks to the power of showing up, of enduring, of advocating no matter what. 

Justice Ginsburg’s spirit, her soul, and her power, will be with us forever. 

Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights In Louisiana – But We’ve Still Got Work To Do

Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt

June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court’s decision today in June Medical Services v. Russo struck down a Louisiana law imposing targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) that the Court had previously found unconstitutional in Texas. TRAP laws are not designed to protect women’s health, but rather to expand the power of patriarchal church leaders and conservative Republicans and to dictate women’s most personal health decisions.

The court also declined to rule on third-party standing which means that abortion providers can continue to challenge law that restrict access on behalf of their patients which is a crucial win for abortion activists. The case was a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

As Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his majority opinion, this case was “almost word-for-word identical” to the law at issue in the Texas case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt, from 2016. In that case, the crucial fifth vote was cast by Justice Kennedy—but his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, voted to keep the restrictions on the books.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority in this case, but only because he agreed with Breyer that the issues had already been decided by the Court. He reiterated his opposition to the arguments made by the majority in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt. He doesn’t agree with Justice Breyer that the Texas and Louisiana laws “will continue to make it impossible for abortion providers to obtain conforming privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with the State’s asserted interests in promoting women’s health and safety.”

This means that with John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the Court, access to abortion care is still on the brink of repeal. NOW applauds today’s legal victory, but we have no illusions about the challenges women still face in defending their reproductive rights from activist judges and extremist politicians.

Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we march—and in November, we vote.

Justice for All

In this time of conflict and uncertainty Contra Costa NOW would like to express our support for the dismantling of institutional, cultural, and interpersonal racism that exists in our society.  We condemn the policies that allow our government agencies to target, discriminate, and enact violence against people of color and their supporters.  We mourn for the death of every person targeted by these shameful policies.  We encourage all of our members to renew their commitment to working toward a society which values peace, equality, and justice for all of its citizens.

Contra Costa NOW Members at the Women’s March 2020

Contra Costa NOW members at the Women’s March 2020

College Campus Safety Tool Kit

Statistically, women are at an elevated risk of sexual violence from ages 18-24. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience forms of rape or sexual assault. Sadly, we also know that women also face an increased risk of sexual assault on a college campus.


As a part of NOW’s commitment to eradicating all violence against women, Contra Costa NOW is providing 7 Point Safety Tool Kit for female college students. 

The following is a detailed guide on how to stay safe on campus: 


  • Add the number for local campus police to your cell phone contacts. Make it one of your “favorites” or program it into speed dial for easy access.
  • Exchange daily class schedule and important phone numbers with your roommates in case of emergency.
  • Always travel with someone else, especially in deserted, not well-lit parts of the campus at night. Look into your college’s campus night shuttle, if provided.
  • Stay alert when walking around campus when going places alone, like to class or the dorms. Only keep one headphone in and take notice of the “blue light” campus emergency phones if necessary.
  • To avoid cases of drug-facilitated sexual assault, guard your drink and party smart. Do not accept drinks from strangers or prepare them yourself.
  • Make sure to charge your phone before going out and keep a portable charger handy in case you need to make an emergency call.
  • If you find yourself in an unsafe situation and need to protect yourself, carry a small container of pepper spray on your keychain. Be sure to check your state’s legal guidelines before buying one. Carrying a personal alarm on your keychain is also a helpful precaution to take. 
  • If you happen to become a victim of sexual assault, call 911, campus police, family, a trusted friend, or the national sexual assault hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) for help and assistance. The hotline can also provide a list of hospitals so you can seek medical attention.

Download our Stay Safe on Campus Tool Kit.

Contra Costa NOW Members at the National Conference

Jeanette and Erika attend the NOW National Conference

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